The government have clarified in an official statement that there has been no change the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU following the EU referendum. At the present time the UK remains a member of the EU. Once Article 50 has been triggered, the UK will still remain part of the EU until the two year negotiations have concluded. In the long term, once the UK has left the EU the government fully expects that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and UK nationals living in the EU, to be properly protected.
EU Nationals who have greater than 5 year’s residency
- EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least 5 years will automatically have a permanent right to reside and there will be no requirement to register for documentation to confirm this status.
- EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least 6 years are eligible to apply for British Citizenship.
EU Nationals who have less than 5 year’s residency
- EU nationals do not need to register for any documentation in order to enjoy free movement rights or responsibilities
- For those that decide to apply for a registration certificate there has been no change to government policy or process and applications will continue to be processed as usual
- Non-EU family members of EU nationals must continue to apply for a family permit if they wish to enter the UK under UK law if they do not have a residence card issued by a member state.
- Extended family members of EU nationals who are also EU nationals must continue to apply for a registration certificate, and a residence card if they are a non-EU national, if they wish to reside in the UK.
- Irish nationals enjoy separate rights which means they are treated in the same way as British nationals in most circumstances and there has been no change in this position.
- Croatian Nationals might need to continue to apply for a registration certificate to be allowed to work in the UK under the transitional arrangements that were put in place when Croatia joined the EU in 2013.
- The type of registration certificate that they might need depends on whether they need permission to work in the UK, and what they will be doing. Again, there has been no change to government policy or process, and applications will continue as normal.
Removal of UK nationals from the UK
- There has been no change in the circumstances in which someone could be removed from the UK.
- As was the case before the referendum, EU nationals can only be removed from the UK if they are considered to pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the public, if they are not lawfully resident or are abusing their free movement rights.